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Friday, July 20, 2012

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shockwave yareach

Well, people also don't grasp that the infrastructure behind the game costs money. Average gamers have NO clue what a server farm costs to operate. It's all computers -- they don't cost anything.

Make it so we can pay weekly, and still play even without paying. People doing the free route get less XP so they level up slower (say, 1/4). And they cannot get any weapon drops or such.

I don't mind paying, but the whole monthly fee thing doesn't work for me. Sometimes I have several weeks in a row that I can have fun in. Sometimes I have to disappear for 4 months at a time. So only charging me when I'm actually playing would be something to keep me interested in your game. Charging me whether I play or not though, as is done now, guarantees I won't give you my credit card number.

Make it a weekly charge and take a hit off my credit card when I log in for a week's worth, and I'll be happy to join/leave/join your game.

Ezra

"Some readers objected when I said the SWTOR layoffs also mean the end of subscription-based MMOs, but hopefully his words will take where mine didn't."

He didn't say subscription-models were dead as you did, so maybe his words should take with you. Heck, you even contradict yourself assuming you understand what 'freemium' means; free at first, subscribe later for 99% of your hours playing.


"All MMOs have shortcomings, especially after launch, but if an MMO is free-to-play and freemium, the users are much more likely to stay and wait out the fixes, whereas someone paying $15 a month isn't likely to be as patient."

As Riccitiello put it in the interview, "free to play is hardly free". He also brings up the fact most 'free to play' MMOs skew towards free beginnings and charging for content at higher levels, which is where obviously content runs out and games stop being worth playing.

Also, just because Riccitiello calls SWTOR a "great product" doesn't mean that it is. Odd that you'd lend more weight to the opinion of a CEO, that has to back his product no matter what, than actual players' facts of their own personal reasonings of why they aren't playing anymore. I wouldn't wait on any mass player backlash over subscriptions sucking vs. the game sucking.


"Hey, did you notice the free-to-play Battlestar Galactica is way more popular than SWTOR? I bet you John Riccitiello did."

Planking is probably more popular than SWTOR, but that means zilch if it doesn't make as much money as SWTOR. Battlestar Galactica surely doesn't.

Pussycat Catnap

I still don't hold weight to this.

His users are right: its not the fee.

The one MMO -huge- success is also one with a fee. Just because you think freemium is the be-all end-all doesn't mean it is.

Countless free-to-play games have failed over time: but nobody remembers them, because they're usually cheap junk not worth remembering.
- And that's the impression f2p leaves. Junkware.

Only a few games have managed to overcome that bias. They don't demonstrate a trend, but an exception. Or at best; that neither model is relevant.

What counts is content. Good content.

This whole debate between free and paid is just a circus sideshow of people who don't want to admit they weren't prepared.

Arcadia Codesmith

McDonalds is more popular than fine cuisine. This does not spell doom for fine cuisine. It just means you can't charge fine cuisine prices for McDonalds-level food.

And that's exactly what SWTOR tried to do. They've got a game that is a quick and easy snack, mostly empty calories, and they're charging for it as if it were a full banquet prepared by master chefs.

At the risk of overextending the metaphor, here's a little secret about fine cuisine; good food isn't necessary hard to make. The mastery of the chef includes advanced techniques, but at the core of the endeavor, all you're trying to do is blend good ingredients into pleasing combinations. The rest of it is a matter of presentation and atmosphere.

Ultima Online is a good example of a game in which the individual elements are simple, but can be combined in an infinite variety of creative ways. Consequently, even though subscriber numbers are low, even though the graphics were already dated at launch, the game has been chugging along for 15 years now.

And that's why I think conventional wisdom on the F2P bandwagon is dead wrong. F2P emphasizes monetization over solid community-based design; it's built into the revenue model. It's all about churn and burn. There will always be a market space for excellence, for strong and lasting community, and that space will continue to be dominated by subscription titles.

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